Biopsy is the removal of a small sample of tissue from the organ. It is a medical test that is done to aid diagnosis of disease, to assess the severity of known disease, and to monitor the progress of treatment.
Biopsy is often required for the diagnosis of several problems (jaundice, abnormal blood tests) where blood tests, such as hepatitis A serology, have not been able to identify a cause. It is also required if hepatitis is possibly the result of medication, but the exact nature of the reaction is unclear.
Alcoholic liver disease and tuberculosis of the liver may be diagnosed through biopsy.Direct biopsy of tumors of the liver may aid the diagnosis, although this may be avoided if the source is clear.
If the diagnosis is already clear, such as chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, biopsy is useful to assess the severity of the associated damage.
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